Wednesday, 25 May 2022

New screening

A few weeks ago we bought two second hand corten garden screens and managed to get them back on the roof of the car. They had sat in a garden for a few months and had never even been unwrapped, so were looking a bit sorry for themselves.

I have been preparing a place for them to go in our garden, and now everything is ready for them to be erected. It was really difficult getting three posts in exactly the right place and the right height, but eventually they were postcreted in and left to harden overnight.

Then we just had to carry the screens back up the garden and lift them in to place. Miracle of miracles, they fitted perfectly.


They need to carry on rusting so that they are bronze all over, but with all of the rain that we keep getting that hopefully won't take too long.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022


Our porch has seen better days and unfortunately could not be salvaged. 

We have managed to buy some really good quality windows and a door very cheaply online that were made to measure for somebody else's house, but after Darren cut them down a bit are actually a very good fit for ours. 

First task, take down the old porch. Every single neighbour commented on how much better it looked without it, so there is a bit of pressure to make a good new one. 

The build back begins with me putting in a new row of bricks and then Darren building the frame. 

We used the old roof tiles although we replaced the damaged ones with spares that we got from a house nearby that was giving them away for free. 

It's always good to test the roof for leaks before carrying on with the build, and fortunately, only a couple of hours after mortaring then in, a huge black cloud appeared overhead and the rain hammered down for ages. 

All was good so the next job is the door and cladding. 

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Somerdale pavilion parkrun

This is a delayed post as I didn't realise that Darren had taken a photo.

This total chaos is the Somerdale Pavilion parkrun, although when you are running it it is very logical and it is actually one long route, not laps. The start is totally normal and then within 200 metres you reach the curly wurly. Basically it is a grass track that curls into the centre and then uncurls, but the runners never meet. Does that make sense? 

I have my Strava of the route (only the red bits, no idea what the blue is). 

The curly wurly is run three times and the rest of the route is a mystery run.

At the moment I am following a training plan from Garmin to try to improve my speed, so as well as following the 5k route I had to do the first 1.5k really slowly, the next 2k as fast as I could and then the remainder slowly again. It was a bit embarrassing suddenly overtaking loads of runners and then just as suddenly slowing down and them overtaking me again, but if I stick to the plan then in 12 weeks time we will see if it has worked.

Another exciting event in the evening, as we were invited to our neighbours birthday party in a marquee on the marina.

First guests to arrive on the green carpet were the ducks,

but we got there a little later,

and then we saw the balloonist who didn't get an invite so just sailed past.

A very nice night and a good chance to get to know our neighbours. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Half finished pergola

 Darren got out the chop saw to start on a new garden project.

The plan is to make the pergola that looks like a doorway with windows on either side over the wood stores. It could be a bit like the house on the old Play School TV programme, but we aren't having a round window - well probably not. 

I have an idea in my head of what it will look like, and fingers crossed that it works out.

I originally had a plan to put a real door in the gap and we found a great second hand one online, but we are now using that elsewhere, and it perhaps it was a bit over the top anyway. 

After about three hours, and with some nice cut out shapes in the posts, then this is what we have. 

It needs some more posts, then painting and climbing plants growing up it, but so far I like it. 

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Stressful afternoon

We had a very peaceful morning as we packed the car full of stuff and plants last night, so all that we had to do was to get up and then drive down to Bath.

It was a bit of a wrench to leave the garden, particularly as the iris display was trying hard to emulate the famous Van Gogh painting.

Well, in my imagination anyway. I also had to leave the amazing mangave plant that has suddenly sent up a giant spike, and I am really excited to see what is going to happen to it.

Unfortunately there isn't room for it in the car so I will have to wait until I get back to find out. 

Anyway, on the drive down we arranged to buy and collect two large corten metal screens that Darren found on Facebook marketplace. 

We tied old curtains around the carry bars on the top of the car and set off for Chipping Sodbury, which was a half hour drive away. Once there we handed over the £100 in cash and then found out that the screens were unbelievably heavy. 

We dragged them out on to the road and eventually managed to hoist them on top of the car. It took ages to tie them on to the roof, and because we couldn't get the rope underneath them we had to tie it through the inside of the car.

Terrified we set off, accompanied by dodgy sounding scraping noises and we had to stop part way along the route as the load suddenly moved. Finally we breathed again as we arrived home. We managed to roll the top one off the car, but it was too heavy for me, and we just missed it going through the back windscreen.

I couldn't cope with the idea of lifting off the last piece so I went to find our lovely, strong neighbour called Simon who helped Darren lift it off and then carried it on his own, and for some reason barefoot, down the garden for us.

Just got to decide what to do with then now. 

Monday, 25 April 2022

Missing floor

We thought that we had solved the damp floor problem by moving the kitchen sink, however, when we got back after two weeks away it was still as damp as ever.

We then decided on the idea of digging up the floor to see what we can find.

Well, we now have a big hole in the floor but are non the wiser about the damp. The only thing we do know is that the pipe to the old sink did not leak after all!

Next issue - a big pile of rubble in the garden. My brainwave was to dig up the very sad looking rockery at the bottom of the garden and make it bigger and higher. 

I had collected lots of stones, bricks and rocks from around the garden, so I started again.

It worked well, if a bit wobbly and the next bit was the hardest. I had to dig out the existing soil, back fill with rubble to raise the level and then put the soil back on top. I was doing nicely with my trusty lady spade, but progress was slow.

Darren watched from a distance and offered advice and encouragement. Top of the list was getting a bigger spade.

Next thing I know he bought a man size spade for himself and got stuck in for the whole afternoon.

Result - rubble gone and a lovely new flower bed to plant, but still a damp kitchen.